Last night skies cleared up just in time for a beautiful aurora show. We were getting a bit bored of taking photos from the same jetty every time 😉 so we decided to drive to Håkøya, a small island (reachable by bridge) which is only a 25 minutes drive. Eelke and Roy decided to join us too 🙂 The northern lights were bright and active in all directions when we just got there, and as a bonus they were also reflected in the fjord – beautiful!
After a while they weakened, but we kept taking photos on the beach where they were reflected in all the pools of water. The tide was coming up fast though, if you weren’t careful suddenly your tripod was standing in the water 😀
We stayed out until 01:30, chatting and drinking hot chocolate. There wasn’t much activity anymore, so we decided to go home. Looks like we should have stayed a little longer, as a while later some red aurora showed up. Oh well, you can’t have everything and it’s also good to catch some sleep. I’m sure there’s more to come 🙂
Autumn has been unusually warm this year, with lots of rain. Last week temperatures finally dropped and we got almost 15 cm of snow. It only lasted a day though, then we were back to +8 degrees Celsius and rain. A few days later it got colder again, and we had a thin layer of snow followed by a weekend with beautiful crisp and cold weather. So nice! This afternoon we went for a walk around Prestvannet, the lake on top of Tromsø island. We were not alone, it seemed that half of Tromsø was hoping to take a last picture of the sun 😀 Officially, the sun stays below the horizon from the 27th of November, but it’s already hiding behind the mountains from the 22th. Tomorrow is going to be cloudy, so it’s very likely that this was the last glimpse of the sun for a while!
Paul bought some skates and is keen to use them, so he measured the ice thickness. Not quite enough yet… unless you’re an otter 😉
And there it was, the sun! It was up for 3 hours today 🙂
You can tell that the children have been waiting for snow for a long time, they are all very keen to go skiing and sledding now, even if there is only just about enough snow for that. Building a snowman is also going to be a challenge, but here someone made 2 miniature ones… cute! 🙂
Unfortunately it looks like the pattern is repeating itself, temperatures are rising tomorrow and on Tuesday we’re expecting +7 degrees and rain 🙁 I hope the snow comes back soon! It makes the dark time a lot lighter by reflecting the little light that we do get.
I’m not sure when I saw the first Christmas items appearing in the shops, but it must have been sometime in October at the latest. What amuses me in Norway is that nearly every item can become special Christmas food. From Christmas-sausages to Christmas-crisps to Christmas-milk and Christmas-beer! Usually only the package changes, sometimes they add some extra cinnamon or other Christmas flavours 😉
These photos are not the best quality, they are taken with my iPod while trying to be invisible to the people working in the shop 😛 But I thought it gives a nice impression of Christmas food in Norway 😀
While I was taking a photo of the Christmas-beer, a couple approached me. They were tourists, and confused about the price of beer. They were wondering if 23 kroner (2.5 pounds/2.94 euros/4 dollars) was the price of one half-litre can of beer, or the whole six-pack… I felt a bit bad giving them the disappointing answer! Alcohol is so expensive here because it’s very heavily taxed. You can buy beer in the supermarket, but only until 20:00 (or 18:00 on Saturday), and for anything stronger you’ll have to visit the Vinmonopolet (literally Wine Monopoly) which is owned by the state. Welcome to Norway 😉
Three weeks ago we had one sunny day in the middle of a very rainy period. Of course we made the most of it, and we went on a trip to Oldervik (about an hour’s drive from Tromsø). We were greeted by a great view towards the Lyngen Alps, with snow on the tops…
The coast at Oldervik has very special rock formations. I had seen many beautiful photos taken there (here and here for example), but we had never been there ourselves! High time for a visit 🙂 and it didn’t disappoint! Here are some examples of the rock formations…
There are interesting patterns everywhere, it’s a paradise for photographers 😀
Another interesting phenomenon at Oldervik are several potholes (jettegryte in Norwegian). They are formed when rocks are moved around by the sea and form a kind of hole. They are very big! Paul is standing in one of them below…
And this one (below left) was even bigger! We couldn’t go in as there was too much water in it. The light had become quite difficult for photos, with a dark foreground and a very bright background, so I experimented with using different exposures to create one image (HDR).
Paul brought his waterproof camera and took some photos in the tidal pools – very nice!
The sky had very pretty pastel colours when we came back to the car.
On the way back, the light was still very beautiful, and I had to ask Paul to stop a few times, I just had to take some pictures!
And our trip came to an end with this spectacular sunset…
Once home we made pumpkin soup and we had friends over for dinner. A perfect Saturday!